Thursday, March 20, 2014
March 2014-Pura vida in my back yard
When we bought our property as raw land 8 years ago it was hilly and overgrown. Just under 2 acres with no driveway, John was often riding his bulldozer carving out the sites for our house, pool, walkways, etc. It was all jungle. When John finished the pool and deck and the place was fairly livable, he moved on and over time we discovered our private paradise.
We often sat on the terrace looking at the ocean. Joe would look straight ahead at all the trees and remarked that the trees were like a curtain—there is something back there, he said. We eventually uncovered a large peaceful scenic view of the valley and the river.
We always thought our property was not fully usable. We built where we could on the top flat part and the rest went down the back. Joe noticed that during the rainy season he could hear sounds of rushing water down in the unusable gully. This year we decided to check it out. We hired a couple of local Ticos to make us a nature trail.
They used wood we had in the garage and cut a few small trees sparingly and used that wood to shape the trail. They also built us a bridge and two benches. Now we wait for the rainy season. We will have a creek and a couple of places to sit as it streams by. Pura vida in our back yard
at 12:34 PM
Thursday, December 26, 2013
at 10:20 AM
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
at 10:41 AM
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Back to Paradise September 2013
We had 15 people up last night for a beer tasting. Joe joined me in the states and picked up several bottles of craft beers and he was eager to share. It was a great evening. Beer samples and Irish car bombs and the occasional mixed drink or draft beer. I was well able to bartend. The group who came up were mostly locals—people who own property or people who work here. Andres, our lawyer friend organized the group. It is the rainy season here. No tourists. Tourists come when it is sunny with blue skies. Now it is lush foliage with more shades of green than Ireland, and wispy clouds which come down over the mountains across the valley. For those who live here the rainy season is the best..not October when we have floods and landslides..but the other 5 months. The area is deserted which makes for a pleasant communion with nature and the on and off rain keeps the temperatures in the 80’s, and there is no dust which makes it all seem so clean.
I worked in New Hampshire for 9 weeks when Joe came over. We did a road trip to upstate NY to see his family stopping by Brattleboro VT to visit with our friend beer legend Ray McNeill. I was only in Nosara for 10 days before going off to my current assignment in Minnesota. It sounds hectic and in some ways it is but it bring in the money and the work is interesting. Since I had been in Minnesota before and felt somewhat acclimated, I was hoping to make some day trips to “the cities”, as they call Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but now that I am here, it is just too cold and I don’t have anyone to hang out with this time.
Joe is getting on well on his own. We have discovered Facetime andVsee so we have the video and it is free. The video is amazing—like being there in person.
Now it is almost November and I am back to paradise in four weeks. Yay.. My Minnesota job is terrific and I am lucky to have it. This is the forensic hospital. I treat patients on two units and I am learning a lot. And I cant wait to be back to tropical Nosara..with Joe and the dogs and Ainsely and the pub.Pura vida. Love Joe and Helena
at 7:00 PM
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Expat living—June 2013.
Always on vacation here in Costa Rica. No structure, no working, Just house stuff, recreational, leisure, inner life, the jungle, nature, other people on vacation or just living and workers we hire. I came back from Minnesota and was sick for a week—stomach bug—I who never gets sick got sick. I guess the stress of traveling and change lowered my resistance, but just for a week The worst part was the low energy.
We have had two parties. Joe’s birthday and a benefit for the volunteer firefighters. We had some great music for the benefit. Our friends, rock group Mumbleriot, played and we also had a 2 person girl-group, ColorNoise, guitar and drums, punk rock I guess, talented and great to talk with. Having the pub, we get to meet people like this. So cool!
Joe is now on Facebook—finally!! He got up to 50 friends very quickly, and he has a lot of interests—music, film, history, beer so once he finds the pages, he will get very connected. We have a nice quiet life together up here. I think we appreciate our time here since I am away 4-6 months per year. But when I am here I am here all the time. I don’t think it is too bad—but Joe does.
We are still hoping to move. We went to Arenal last week to look at a more economical option. Two storage units on 1 ½ acres. The storage units would become the pub and we would have to build…I can’t imagine a better house than this one but we will find one. And our water and electricity would be less. We would spend less on car repairs. And once we pay off the credit cards, it will be easy street. We just have to sell here. The right person who wants to live in Paradise…
I will be off to New Hampshire soon..only two months. Then later in the year I have another two month gig in Minnesota—the small price of living in Paradise..
at 5:17 AM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
May 11, 2013 Mankako, Minnesota.
People are tall here—I am always looking up. And they have accents. Long o’s. like Noooo for no. There is a lilt in every conversation. Joe found me a book called “Talk like a Minnesotan”—I heard it is a classic. And it has been snowing up till early May. There have been a few storms 7 inches each time. And cold. I am glad I brought my winter parka. This week we finally have spring weather and it is gorgeous.
I had a friend for my first 4 weeks here. An APRN (advanced practice registered nurse) from Oregon. She had been working here since January and she was able to show me around. We went to the Schnell Brewery in New Ulm and other things German up that way. Mankato is more Scandinavian decent, I think. Deb and I also went to several restaurants and hung out and it was nice to have a companion.
The job is great. It is interesting. A lot of good staff. And patients who have serious mental illness. They have also committed crimes, some serious, and have been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Except for the crime, it is like the old state institutions . Most of the people I have met have only committed one crime, either when they were not taking medications, or when they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The crime part makes it difficult for people to be allowed back into the community. I went to a hearing the other day. There was a three panel judge on a huge video hanging from the ceiling that about 8 of us, including the patient’s lawyer and the patient had to address. The patients are mentally ill and dangerous (MI&D)—the D part brings in the legal system. And there are politics. Because the patients are at the facility a long time—7 years is the average length of stay-, as a provider, I have plenty of time to research their illness and there is time to try different medications and treatments. Also, there are internal medicine physicians, who know the patients and I learn a lot consulting with them. And pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, even a foot care nurse! People get very good care.
I have a contract to be back here in Oct-Nov for another 8 weeks. Joe may come with me. We are trying to decide if it would be enough for him to hang out in the hotel —I have a nice 1 bedroom suite—and go to the malls during the day. I think it would be OK. After being in the jungle for so long, the first few days of being in a mall are exciting.! We have Barnes+Noble, TJ Maxx, Walmart, CVS and so many other stores competing for our money. Plus super grocery stores. It is hard to find someone we trust to stay in our house in Nosara with the dogs when we are both away. But there is an Oktoberfest in New Ulm, which is near here, in early October so that may interest him. We will see.
I go back to Paradise in next week. Joe insisted I buy more English pint glasses. And I have an assortment of sundries. We can get most things now in Costa Rica and it is not worth paying the overweight baggage charges. I will be in New Hampshire for July-Aug, back to outpatient. I am so fortunate that I have been able to move to Costa Rica AND progress in my career. I am now considered a provider.
It has been a good experience here. And I can’t wait to come home to the tropics. Love Joe and Helena
at 1:09 PM